How long left do You give these Players?
Serena: Depends on Venus' decisions, her results and her injuries. I would be surprised at this point if she does not play until she's 30 as there is every indication that Venus will, and it's not as if Serena's susceptibility to injury can get a whole lot worse. And Serena's never been the most motivated either, but she's still here.
Jankovic: The jury's still out on this one. On one hand, her running and loaded schedule might well burn her out both mentally and physically, but on the other hand her smooth technique, flexibility, light-footedness and general compact game might be her saving grace. I do tend to think that by the age of 26 (she's 23 now), Jankovic will be on the way out. I think we'll see in the first quarter of next year how this year has affected her. It's normal for players to be burnt out or beset by injuries after a stellar year prior.
Safina: Too early to say. She seems to be reaching her peak at the moment, and everything she always dreamt of beckons. Only a year ago, or 9 months ago even, those dreams seemed to be fading. So at this point in time the last thing she's thinking about is retirement. And she's only 22. Give it two years and see how she's faring. It's noticeable that Safina does have a tendency to throw the towel in and get despondent when things aren't going well. She nearly retired earlier this year. On the other hand, she's extremely strong and looks to have a resilient body.
Sharapova: I worry for this girl's future. She focuses too much on unremitting power, and her own game takes a bigger toll on her body than her opponents. For example, she overwhelmed Jankovic in Australia, but do you remember the story of the hare and the tortoise? I also thought that Sharapova's response to Henin's retirement spoke volumes. She suggested that at 26, with fewer slams than Henin, she would have done the same. Well, she'll be 22 next year, and her injury problems show no sign of abating. It seems she needs to play as she does to win slams, and then has to suffer for it. I think psychologically, Sharapova BADLY wants one more Wimbledon title. That is why she still practices. I don't think she's much bothered about Paris. But, you know, sometimes players can very suddenly let go of their dreams to enable themselves to move on and be happier, just as Henin let go of the dream of a Wimbledon title. Sharapova knows there are many avenues open to her when she hangs her racket.
Kuznetsova: At this point, I think it all depends on whether Sveta can cope much longer with going nowhere fast. Physically, I think she has more ability to keep going than any other player. She doesn't seem to get injured often, and is immensely compact. It's just Sveta might well get bored of walking this plateau.
Dementieva: She's 27 now, but I think she will play to the age of 30 barring injuries. That is, unless she wins that elusive slam next year, which could demotivate her as, in my opinion, it did Mauresmo. But she's super-fit and has the athleticism to not slow down into her early 30s. She's built very similar to Graf, who was still quicker than Venus at Wimbledon '99. I think she still has dreams and will keep going unless she cannot.
Venus: I think she'll keep going into her early 30s, barring injuries. She's said as much.